Update from the NIH Office of Extramural Research to the external biomedical research community.
The NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni is mulling the final draft of the “NIH 2007-2008 Peer Review Self-Study” submitted Feb. 28, 2008, marking the end of the diagnostic phase of the peer review enhancement effort. The public comment period is open through Monday, March 17, 2008. To access the full report and for details on submitting comments please visit the Enhancing Peer Review at NIH Web site.
Last year, Dr. Zerhouni established two working groups (the Advisory Committee to the Director and the NIH Steering Committee) to examine the peer review system NIH uses to support biomedical and behavioral research. The groups were charged with identifying the most significant challenges and proposing recommendations that would enhance this system in the most transformative manner. During the summer and fall of 2007, both working groups embarked on an in-depth evaluation of peer review that included soliciting input from NIH internal and external communities and extensively deliberating about challenges and recommendations.
The final report reflects the outcome of the diagnostic phase and includes the working groups’ recommendations to the most significant challenges facing the peer review system (details of implementation were purposefully omitted during this phase of the project). Dr. Zerhouni will carefully consider the recommendations and work with the Steering Committee Peer Review Implementation Group to develop an implementation plan. NIH will formally announce the new initiatives it plans to implement in the spring of 2008.
For brief summary and recommendations see: Nexus Special Edition on Peer Review: March 5, 2008